Canadian producer Dyzphoria is making some incredible music at present. We caught up with the man himself to hear what he had to say. Check out our Insight Interview here…
Hey Dyzphoria, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Where are you based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted at home?
Hey man, thanks for having me! Appreciate the opportunity for real.
I’m based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I actually live on a small island off the coast of West Vancouver called Bowen Island – it’s really nice and peaceful here! I try to head into the city to meet up with people to studio sesh and whatnot at least a couple times per week so I don’t go insane, though, hahahah. I love travelling and it’s one of my main goals right now; I want to see as many different parts of the world as I can. I don’t really have the funds to travel tons right now but hopefully soon!
Can you recall your first real exposure to music?
Oh man, music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I guess the earliest exposure I can remember is my parents playing music on the stereo at home back in Ottawa where I was born. They used to play music all the time, and I remember they would play a lot of The Cranberries, and a lot of songs by the Italian singer Andrea Bocelli. I’m sure they played lots of other stuff too, but those two are the ones that come to mind first. Otherwise, I’ve pretty much always been listening to music as much as possible. My parents used to buy my CDs from my favorite bands back in the day, and then when MP3 players and iPods became a thing, I was pretty much listening to music at all times, even during class at school hahaha.
How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?
It was actually quite recent considering how much I’ve loved music my whole life … For some reason, I never really considered writing my own music until 2014. I was at the 2014 Pemberton Music Festival in BC, and I just had this massive revelation that music was something I could really dedicate my whole life to, because I just love it so much. I think seeing how music was able to bring all sorts of different people together and create such an amazing experience for everyone really opened my eyes to the true power of music. Somehow before then, it never really clicked for me that I could spend my life on music and actually try creating my own. As soon as I got home from the Pemberton I downloaded a copy of FL Studio and made my first little beat. I had so much fun I just kept at it up until now, and I don’t think I’ll ever quit!
Can you describe your music for us?
Hmmmm that’s always a tough one for me haha, I just make what I feel like making. I guess to put it simply I’d say my music is wavy, melodic, kind of ambient, bassy, and (I hope) emotional. I try to really put emotion and feeling into my music and portray whatever it is I’m feeling at the time.
Have you played live recently? Would you like to do more shows or tours in future? Anything coming up soon you’d like to tell us about?
Yeah! We just finished a mini PNW tour recently, got to hit up Portland & Seattle, it was so much fun! We’re going back to Seattle on August 5th for a show, I’m really excited. Travelling to new cities & playing shows there with the homies is just soooo fun. There are tentative plans in the works to travel to San Francisco and play a show there with some friends in early 2018, which would be awesome. I haven’t been to California in a few years and I’d love to go back, it’s such a great place. Also, I’m going to be in LA in October, pretty much just to check it out and hopefully form some connections – I’ve never been to LA yet! I’m really excited about that and hope to meet some cool people. If anyone who’s gonna be there in October wants to link up, definitely send me a message!
What have been your biggest influences?
Just life in general, really. Musically, though, I’d say my biggest influences are Clams Casino, Yung Gud, Blue Sky Black Death, and DJ Smokey. There are many, many, many others I could list, but I think those 4 are the main artists that really influenced & inspired me to start creating my own music.
Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?
I think it’s definitely both. Honestly, I believe that creativity always comes first – technical skill is definitely a huge factor, but just look at lo-fi music for example … It’s not the most technically mixed or produced music (I hope I’m not offending anyone!) but the vibes are still sooo strong purely because of the songwriting & creativity in my opinion. It’s kind of a difficult concept to explain, but for me, the vibes are the most important part of music – the way the music makes people feel when they hear it. I’m sure a lot of people know what I mean. I think that if someone has great creative skill, and then technical skill on top of that, that’s what truly makes them a star.
Do you tend to find the creative process a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life?
Absolutely. I try to make music every day, and some days are more successful than others. Every now and then, though, I’ll start a song and I’ll just be feeling the vibe so much that I just go crazy with it and work on it non stop, only to look at the clock when I finally take a break and realize I’ve been working for like 8 hours straight. Those are the best times for me, when I just completely lose track of myself & time and get completely absorbed in the music. Those experiences are for sure very cathartic and therapeutic, and in my opinion, the best part of the whole music process. On top of that, the ability to express my ideas & how I feel through music is a very liberating thing for me, as I think it must be for any artist in any medium.
You’ve worked with some wonderful artists recently. Any more collabs or joint projects on the horizon?
Definitely! I love collabbing with people, its really fun to send off an idea I had and see how they work from it, as well as vice-versa. It’s always cool to see how someone else takes it in directions that I could never have thought of. I always learn a lot and it’s just a really cool experience which is why I try to collab so often. I also believe that the best music usually (almost always?) happens as the result of collaboration, one way or another. I will definitely be collabbing more in the future! I don’t want to drop too many names, but I will be dropping a sick collab with Harukasuka in a couple weeks or so, and me and Kyddiekafka have another collab in the works that I’m pretty excited about as well!
Any new genres or musical styles you’d like to explore in future?
I’m getting a lot more into future garage stuff lately. I recently found this track Aes Khana by Main Engine and it just blew my mind. The sound design, ambience, soundscape, and vibes are so amazing. I definitely want to explore more future garage music in the future. Vacant is another artist that I’ve been really getting into lately; his music is just so deep. It’s such a cool genre and it’s very wavy too so I think I could incorporate some influence from that style into my own music.
Do you have any thoughts on the future of underground musical styles? Do you think the scene will evolve further?
Hmmmm I think the best new music tends to blossom out of the underground. I mean, everyone starts somewhere, and the hungriest artists are going to do everything they can to push their music further & really get it out there, which usually means through the underground since they may not have the connections or the pull to go through the industry yet. I have really high hopes for the scene! I’ve met so many incredibly talented musicians both online and IRL, it seems hard to believe that this isn’t going to be huge. In terms of the wavier electronic stuff that’s been happening lately, I think it’s really going to blow up. I’ve been listening to music my entire life and as far as I’m aware, this type of music has never, ever existed before. This music really means a lot to a lot of people and I think that’s what will really push the scene forward. On top of that, the scene is just so friendly & supportive, so I’m definitely predicting that things are going to go well!
Any new releases coming our way?
Yep! I just dropped a new track with my good friend 2Ravens, and as I mentioned above, a new collab with Harukasuka should be out in a couple weeks or so. I’ve also got a huge collab in the works with an established artist who I don’t want to namedrop right now, but I’m really excited about that one! It should be dropping very soon as well and I think people are really going to like it! :^ )
Any artists or other individuals / collectives you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to work with in future?
Oh man, there are too many artists too list. I love collabbing with people. I guess the people who come to mind immediately are Sorsari, Anubis-XIII, Falls, Klimeks, and Margari’s Kid. I’ll just leave it at that for now because I could go on forever. As far as collectives, I really love Wavemob, Withered Collective, and Never Amount to Anything. I know I’m forgetting people but those are the ones who come to mind first.
Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?
That’s kind of an impossible question for me, hahaha. Clams Casino – Leaf is definitely one of my favorite beats of all time, though. Clams is definitely in my top 5 and I think he changed music forever, for the better. Favorite artist is honestly impossible for me to choose as I love so many different artists & different styles of music. It’s constantly changing, too, because I love searching for new music. Especially these days, music moves so fast as a result of the internet, there’s always tons of fresh new dope stuff being released at any given moment. Right now, though, my favorite artist is probably Trippie Redd – his vocal performances are insane! His song Trap Star is so dope, its got those modern new wave emo / rap crossover vibes that I really love.
It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, definitely. It’s really stressful at times. I’ve chosen a path where my future is completely 100% not ensured; I could fail at music and just be broke for the rest of my life. I really don’t think that’s going to happen since I will never give up, but it’s always a possibility, as opposed to the traditional path of going through school and getting a secure job. I know it’s not so simple & easy these days to just graduate from university & get a job right away, but still, I think most people would agree that it’s definitely a more secure path than the path of an artist. I’ve also made it my ultimate goal to somehow impact the world positively & create positive cultural change through music. It’s a lofty goal for sure, and it puts a lot of pressure on myself, but I really want to do something good with the opportunities I have so that’s my focus. It definitely stresses me out a lot when I feel like I’m not doing enough, but that’s not a bad thing either! A bit of stress is good to keep pushing me forward. With that said, though, a life in music is really fun & rewarding too! It’s all about the balance between things. It’s amazing to see the positive impact music can have on people’s lives, and that’s the main thing that keeps me going. I love knowing I can help people through music, even if it’s just something as simple as making their day a little bit better. Even though music drives me insane at times, it also brings me profound happiness at others. It’s both a blessing and a curse for sure.
Do you have any words of advice for aspiring young producers?
10,000 hours. I strongly believe in this concept. I don’t want to ramble too long about it so if anyone is interested they should look it up, but the basic idea is that it takes 10,000 hours of focused practice to become a grand-master at your craft, no matter what your craft is. There was a very convincing study done about this concept. I first read about it in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, a book that I highly recommend everyone reads! Basically, my advice to aspiring producers would be to spend as much time producing & making music as possible. You have to put the work in. It takes a lot of time & effort to be great. Otherwise, just delve into music as much as possible, listen to whatever you like, make whatever you feel like making, and do you! Do what you want. Other than the 10,000 hours thing, I think not giving a damn & doing what you want to do is a major key. Just look at all these poppin rappers in America right now – they do crazy stuff and literally appear insane at times, and I think that’s actually a big key to their success. They really don’t care what people think of them and purely do what they want to do, and that’s allowed them to really carve out their own lanes in life. Being unique and doing your own thing is huge.
Any other projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?
I hope to put out an EP some time in the future. Maybe in 2018 if things go well! I don’t really have any solid plans for projects otherwise, just trying to keep making music & keep improving. I hope to keep dropping music more often from now on, and continue to grow my platform. Once I feel like I’m ready as an artist to put out an EP, I will get to work on that. As of right now I feel like I’m still learning & growing so I don’t want to put out any solid projects yet, if that makes sense. I’m getting close though! Lately I’m reaching a point where I feel more & more confident in my music. I’m also planning on doing vocals soon, I think that’s something my music is really missing right now and I’d love to do my own vocals over my own instrumentals.
And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?
Shouts out to all the Vancouver homies! Celestial, Mentiras and 2Ravens are all extremely talented and really underrated. I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more about them soon, though! They’ve been putting in work and their music is amazing. Otherwise I wanna give a shoutout to Sorsari as well, he’s by far one of my favorite artists in the scene and I think his music is really special. He’s not unknown by any means, but still, I hope to see his music blow up huge! I truly believe he’s a special artist that deserves even more attention than he has already.
Thanks so much Dyzphoria!
Thank you <3